Across the river from Bangkok, Thonburi is easier to reach than ever, thanks to the expansion of the BTS. With lots of interesting attractions and activities for families, there are plenty of reasons to make the journey west, including:
1. Watching the puppet show of Baan Silapin (“The Artist’s House”)
Located along a canal, this beautifully restored centuries-old wooden structure houses a gallery of sorts, displaying masks, costumes, puppets and and paintings. From the water, you can see several striking statues of people seemingly watching the boats go by. Every afternoon at 2pm (except on Wednesday), the artists stage a free traditional Thai puppetry show in the same style as the Joe Louis puppet performances at the Askra Theatre and at Asiatique — such a treat for both kids and adults! Baan Silapin can be reached from Wongwian Yai BTS Station; then take a taxi to the nearby Wat Kuhasawan and walk along the canal.
2. Feeding the famed turtles of Wat Prayoon
Situated within a lush temple compound, Wat Prayoon makes for a great outing for children, especially the younger ones. The temple is known for its vast population of turtles that you can feed with bread, pork balls and fruit on sale in the courtyard. Turtles and large fish are clearly visible when food is on offer. Children will be delighted and fascinated as they personally hand feed the animals.
3. Splashing and swimming at Fantasia Lagoon Water Park
A wet ‘n wild adventure awaits at this fun-filled water park, tucked-away on the rooftop level of The Mall Bang Khae shopping centre. The park features large swimming pools, water slides, a lazy river and gushing fountains, and it’s divided into various themed zones. While young ones can splash around Fantasy Fountain, older kids will love splitting their time between zones such as Mystery Island, Ocean 10 and Pirate Cove. If all that wasn’t enough, there’s also an indoor amusement park just one floor below, complete with a variety of activities and rides. Plan to spend at least half a day here.
4. Playing at KiZventure Park
KiZventure Park is an indoor playground situated directly after The Circle on Ratchapruek Road. Spread over two floors, the playground offers separate areas for toddles and bigger kids. On the ground floor, the Toddler Zone features soft toys, a ball pit and a small gym for tiny tots to safely play and explore. Upstairs, the Main Zone has heaps of activities for kids aged 4+. Alongside mini golf and a fenced-off basketball court, a multi-level play area with obstacles, slides, ropes, and a shooting gallery with foam balls will keep them entertained for hours.
5. Soaking in the charms of Khlong Lad Mayom
The Khlong Lad Mayom weekend floating market features lots of traditional charm in a smaller, more manageable setting, compared to Damnoen Saduak, Thailand’s famous floating market. It’s non-touristy plus it’s much closer and can be accessed by taking a taxi from Wongwian Yai BTS Station. Also, there is a riverside market set-up where you will find lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, ready-made food, handicrafts and other hand-made items — all at a fraction of the prices you’d expect to pay in Bangkok.